Lack of flights a challenge in repatriating OFWs stranded due to travel ban: official

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 22 2021 04:47 PM

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A lack of flights poses a challenge to the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers who are stranded in 7 countries covered by a travel ban that aims to contain the spread of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 Delta variant, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said on Tuesday. 

The Philippines exempts repatriation efforts from the travel ban. OFWs who want to go home to the Philippines should contact authorities who would work to get mercy flights, said POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia. 
 
"Gagawa po ng paraan. Ang challenge po kasi d'yan of course 'yong mga airline companies, sino po ba ang mga available, may mga flights po ba," he said in a televised public briefing.

(We will find a way. The challenge there is the availability of airline companies. Will there be flights?) 

"Dahil dito po sa challenge na ito, kailangan ayusin natin iyong schedule. Ang atin pong konsulada at embahada po magii-schedule at magri-request ng mga mercy flights para po makauwi ang ating OFWs," added the official.

(Because of this challenge, we need to fix the schedule. Our consulate and embassies will schedule and request mercy flights so that our OFWs can go home.) 

The Philippines has detected among inbound travelers 17 cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant that originated from India, where it unleashed a catastrophic surge in coronavirus infections. 

To manage the spread of the Delta variant, the Philippines has suspended the entry of travelers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, and Oman at least until June 30.